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It's a scary win for Clippers

L.A. beats Minnesota, 126-111, but there are a few tense moments as Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin leave for a few minutes because of minor injuries.

January 19, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers forward Blake Griffin, top, is fouled by Minnesota forward Kevin Love as he shoots during the second quarter of the Clippers' 126-111 victory Wednesday.
Clippers forward Blake Griffin, top, is fouled by Minnesota forward Kevin… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)

This was a game greatly testing the nerve and blood pressure of Clippers executives, enough to send the latter skyrocketing.

And it had little to do with the Clippers' 24 turnovers leading to 31 points by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

No, this was all about one pillar of the franchise (Eric Gordon) getting injured late in the first quarter, and The Franchise himself (Blake Griffin) leaving a few minutes later, early in the second quarter.

Typical Clippers? Not exactly.

This time the script of doom went against type. Griffin was back in the game by the end of the half, Gordon returned for the second half and the Clippers rolled to their 11th win in their last 15 games, defeating Minnesota, 126-111.

The Clippers have won three consecutive games and six of their last seven.

The only thing ending of note was Griffin's impressive double-double streak, stopping at 27 consecutive games. He came close, scoring 29 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Minnesota and former UCLA star Kevin Love's streak lives. Love, who did not have a rebound until the third quarter, finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds. His double-double streak is at 29 consecutive games.

Griffin left with 3 minutes 54 seconds remaining, much to the chagrin of the streak counters among the spectators. As for Griffin, he looked disappointed. But he always looks that way when he comes out of a game.

"I could care less, to be honest," Griffin said about the streak ending. "It's one of those things, as long as we win, as long as we play well, it's great. I'm more concerned about our winning streak. I'd give up a personal streak or whatever it was to keep winning."

Not much later, he received a technical foul from the bench for standing and protesting a call. That brought on some serious teasing from his teammates.

"I don't know about that one," Griffin said. "I might have to watch the replay. I stood up and I went, 'Oh.' But it was louder than that."

Considering Griffin was back so quickly after an injury scare — his right leg slipped behind him on the damp court and he said he cut his knee — the end of the streak was hardly devastating.

"I didn't think I did the splits too far," Griffin said. "It just kind of scared me for a second. I'm fine. It's just a little cut on my knee. It scared me a little bit."

Gordon's injury seemed more serious, at first. It looked as though there was some contact with Minnesota's Corey Brewer, and Gordon immediately went to the locker room for treatment and an X-ray.

X-rays were negative and he returned to the game in the second half with his right ring finger taped. The Clippers called it a strained/torn tendon.

Gordon said he was in pain but the injury hardly seemed to affect his shooting. He scored 23 points and made three three point baskets. He has scored 20 points or points in the last seven games

All the Clippers starters were in double figures as were two more players off the bench, Ike Diogu and Eric Bledsoe, who each scored 10 points.

Baron Davis had 20 points, DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Ryan Gomes scored 13 points, including three three-pointers.

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